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"Never happened": Model denies trapping accuser in bathroom with Harvey Weinstein

Prosecution rests in Weinstein trial
Prosecution rests in Weinstein trial 07:37

Mexican model and actress Claudia Salinas on Monday denied Harvey Weinstein accuser Lauren Young's claim that Salinas stood by and did nothing while the once-powerful movie mogul groped Young in a Beverly Hills hotel in 2013. "Never happened," Salinas told jurors at Weinstein's rape trial in New York City.

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Mexican model Claudia Salinas leaves court after testifying in Harvey Weinstein's rape trial. Mark Lennihan/AP

Weinstein is charged with raping Jessica Mann in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on a different woman in 2006, but other accusers such as Young were called as witnesses as part of the prosecution's effort to show he has used the same tactics to victimize many women over the years.

Testifying last week, Young said Salinas closed the door behind her and Weinstein as they went into the bathroom, where she said he stripped off his clothes, grabbed her breast and masturbated. Young said Salinas "was standing right there" when Weinstein was finished and she managed to get out.

"If I had done that, I would remember that," Salinas testified. "I would never close the door on anybody."

Young's allegations were included in criminal charges filed against Weinstein in California on January 6, just as his New York case was starting.

The 67-year-old Weinstein has maintained any sexual encounters were consensual.

Salinas, now 38 and working as a social media influencer, took the witness stand as the defense called witnesses for a third day after more than two weeks of prosecution testimony. She said she met Weinstein in 2012 while she was an aspiring actress and never had a romantic relationship with him, adding that he had a "very strong personality" and "at times, he wasn't nice to me."

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A courtroom sketch which shows Harvey Weinstein's defense attorney Damon Cheronis holding the dress of Lauren Marie Young, one of Weinstein's accusers, claims she was wearing the night Weinstein allegedly assaulted her. Christine Cornell

Salinas disputed other parts of Young's account, saying that while they did meet up at the hotel bar the night of the alleged assault, it wasn't because Weinstein wanted to see her. She also said she didn't recognize the hotel suite and didn't remember following along as Weinstein sought to continue the conversation in his room while he got ready for an awards presentation, as Young alleged.

Salinas denied that she saw Weinstein run out of a bathroom naked. "I would remember that," she said. She said she had never seen Weinstein be aggressive with anyone.

Asked on cross-examination if she told investigators last year that it was possible Weinstein took Young to the room, Salinas replied: "What's true is that I wasn't there in a bathroom scenario. It could have happened but it didn't mean I was there."

Jurors also heard Monday from the former roommate of the woman Weinstein is on trial for allegedly raping. Talita Maia said that Jessica Mann spoke highly of Weinstein and once called him her "spiritual soulmate."

During emotional testimony on January 31, Mann described a "degrading" relationship and sometimes forced sexual encounters with Weinstein when she was an aspiring actress in her 20s. Mann told jurors that Weinstein trapped her in a New York hotel room in March 2013 and angrily ordered her to undress as he loomed over her, and then raped her.  

Maia, a Brazilian actress who lived with Mann in the Los Angeles area, was with her on the New York trip and said nothing seemed amiss when they met Weinstein for breakfast after the alleged rape.

Mann testified last week that she didn't tell anybody what happened but was "pretty shut down" at breakfast.

"Did she seem like herself to you?" Weinstein lawyer Donna Rotunno asked.

"Yes," Maia responded.

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Harvey Weinstein arrives at a Manhattan courthouse for his rape trial in New York, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020. Seth Wenig / AP

Maia said she was testifying in response to a defense subpoena, telling jurors: "I don't want to be here at all." On cross-examination, she testified the two women had a falling out in 2016, but added, "I don't hate her or anything like that."

Maia said she and Mann met Weinstein at a Hollywood party a few months before the alleged rape and that she believed Mann and Weinstein were in a relationship at some point and had stayed friends afterward.

Maia said she initially didn't know who Weinstein was, but once she found out he was a Hollywood bigshot, she teased him by saying "that's why everybody is being so nice to you."

Maia said Mann put her arm around Weinstein and said: "No. It's because he's so cute."

Maia said she recalled a communication in January 2014 when she had wished Weinstein a happy new year, and Weinstein replied, "Tell your friend Jess I'm friendly." But she said she believed Weinstein was joking.

"I understood that as a joke, they seemed to have a really friendly, good relationship going," Maia said.

On cross-examination, Maia told a prosecutor Mann had once complained to her about Weinstein, saying, "Oh my God, he's so controlling."

— Reporting by The Associated Press, CBS News' Cassandra Gauthier and CBS News' Shawn Matthews. 

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